The Camas Library was buzzing on Tuesday morning, July 30th, as librarians from all over Southwest Washington filed in to meet the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. In our world, she's a rock star. First woman to hold the position? Check. First African American in the role? Check. And of only 14 people to have served as Librarian of Congress, she's just the third to have actually come from a library. So, we already liked her. Little did we know that in a few hours, we would all love her.
Backing up, just one week before we were contacted by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler's office to see if we would be interested in hosting the Congresswoman and her guest, Dr. Hayden. Of course, we jumped at the chance. With one week to put it all together, we knew it would be a challenge, but the Camas Library staff always rises to the occasion. This was no exception; they did an absolutely outstanding job putting everything together. We received many accolades on the event from the community, the State Library, and other librarians from neighboring systems.
The purpose of Dr. Hayden's visit was to promote the Surplus Books Program at the Library of Congress. Congresswoman Herrera Beutler chose the Camas Library as a site to receive books; there is a great description of the program in The Columbian's write up of Dr. Hayden's visit. We spent the morning hosting a meet and greet, a question and answer period, and then Dr. Hayden and Congresswoman Herrera Beutler joined Karen Nicholson for Preschool Storytime. What a morning! Dr. Hayden was gracious, kind, and an extremely positive presence. She gave everyone special, individualized time. She will remain one of our favorite guests of the Camas Library for a long time to come.